Stocks rise…Unemployment rate falls…Trade deficit widens
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are broadly higher in morning trading on Wall Street after the government reported steady, though slowing, job growth last month. The mixed report on hiring was enough to calm some nerves on Wall Street following a week of sharp drops caused by weak reports on manufacturing and the service sector. Technology stocks are leading the way higher in the early going. Apple rose 2% after a Japanese newspaper reported that the company has asked suppliers to increase production of the latest iPhone.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs. The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low jobless rate, down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than the 3.4% at the beginning of the year. The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. trade deficit widened in August for the first time in three months as exports increased but imports increased more. The politically sensitive gap with China in the trade of goods narrowed. The Commerce Department says the gap between what the United buys and what it sells abroad rose 1.6% to $54.9 billion from $54 billion in July, after falling in June and July.
BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s foreign minister is accusing the U.S. of rejecting offers of an amicable solution in a trade spat and warning that the European Union could soon respond by raising tariffs on American goods. He says Washington is “going down the path of confrontation,” after the Trump administration slapped hefty taxes on EU goods after getting World Trade Organization approval over European subsidies for plane-maker Airbus.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Samsung Electronics says it has ended production of smartphones at its last factory in China. Samsung said it made “the difficult decision to cease operations of Samsung Electronics Huizhou” in China to improve its efficiency. Samsung’s market share in China has dwindled to near insignificance as competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi got the upper hand. The South Korean company has moved a large share of its smartphone production to Vietnam.